I am going with two friends to Phantom Ranch next month. We are really looking forward to it. I like the idea of being free of all the backpacking gear for a change--been into the Canyon a bunch of times, but to camp not stay in the lap of luxury.
This time we travel light!
So, that got me thinking. It is taking us two years to have this reservation come true. Two years! I am thinking ahead to my next trip to Phantom because I already know staying there is going to spoil me and I'll want to return. My question ultimately is this: how hard is it to hike from the North Rim to Phantom Ranch in a day without heavy backpacking stuff? I know it is about 14 miles, and I have done it in 2 days both ways backpacking with stays at Cottonwood. I was beat after each 7 mile leg of the trip and ready for the campground! But if we parked at the South Rim, got the shuttle to the North, and hiked down to Phantom, could we do it in one day okay? Then, we could hang out down there a few days and do some day hikes, and come out the South Rim.
Has anyone done this? Any advice? I might have to call soon if I want another reservation at the Ranch in two years!